Green Climate Fund (GCF) Preparatory Awareness workshop to support the implementation of the Green City Development Projects in Nyagatare

June 13, Nyagatare –  The GGGI Rwanda team, as a delivery partner for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), hosted the “Awareness Workshop” to provide preparatory support for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)  to implement Green City Development Projects in Nyagatare on June 13. Mr Jean Pierre Munyeshyaka, GGGI’s Senior Associate Green Urbanisation and Nyagatare District Assistant Ruth Uwera coordinated the stakeholder engagement activities to mobilize all local participants and government partners.

Mr Eric Hakizimana , Physical Planning Senior Engineer at MININFRA encouraged participants to change their mindsets by instilling a participatory approach for Masterplan implementation and to fully participate in each planning activity to show ownership as the community of Nyagatare

The project awareness workshop was organized in a joint effort with the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) in collaboration with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA); the National Designated Authority for GCF; GGGI, the project delivery partner; and the Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA).

The awareness workshop served as a platform for sharing ideas on improving designs for the district Masterplan in the region. The workshop was a successful commitment to impart to nearby legislature members of Nyagatare and development partners. It was a medium for additionally examining the destinations and expected results of the status undertaking to be actualized in the Nyagatare locale. The workshop was well-attended by regional experts, professionals, representatives of the District Joint Development Action Forum, NGOs and other partner organizations as well as the National level technicians working closely with urbanization and the environment.

Advisor of the District Steering Committee Ms Busingye Rose Bella said “NyagatareDistr is disadvantaged as it lacks adequate hotels, hospitals, schools. We need to involve the private sector in our urbanisation processes so that each stakeholder and partner can actively partake in advancing the development of Nyagatare District”

Rwanda’s urbanization is taking advantage of existing poles of growth to support and structure and balance its system of cities and towns, including corridors (Musanze-Rubavu; Kigali, Muhanga, Huye) and gateways (Rusizi, Nyagatare, Rubavu). This has led to the selection of Secondary cities based on strategic location, growth trends, unique assets, and potential to become regional economic development hubs. Currently, the secondary cities sit within districts that have much larger rural populations and which are still mainly dependent on farming to provide livelihoods and support the local economy. The objective is to ensure that the secondary cities are developed and provide socio-economic opportunities as well as the City of Kigali to attract and retain urban population in these cities. The Government of Rwanda (GoR), is also committed to addressing the challenge of climate change and stated its long-term vision to become a climate resilient economy by 2050. These create an imperative for green investment and sustainable land use planning and efficient management of other resources management.

As part of stakeholder’s engagement at early stage of the GCF programme, and creating awareness for local actors in city development this workshop gave guidance to all stakeholders. It was an opportunity to gather preliminary views of local leaders and stakeholders, on the city vision and opportunities. The climate change mitigation and adaptation start at global level and translated into local actions, which in turn contribute to global commitments attainment. It culminated local action planning and implementation, to contribute to national, regional and global actions. The shift from business as usual to greener and climate resilient economic development, create the need for knowledge and information sharing, which are the next steps after policies and strategies elaboration. It brought together different strata and levels of leaders, technicians, private sector, civil society and academia, who are actors and stakeholders of the programme, and ultimate implementors of its outcomes. The outcomes have provided the Government of Rwanda and Nyagatare secondary city, with clear tools and strategies enabling them to operationalize the National Roadmap for Green Secondary Cities Development, implementation of the National Urbanization policy; as part of the implementation of NDCs, focusing on both climate change mitigation and adaptation outcomes. Other intended outcomes of the programme, are strengthening country capacity (NDA), in terms of project monitoring and evaluation, fund mobilization, and engaging stakeholders, and mobilizing the private sector. The identified thematic project will later be taken to project proposals for fund mobilization from both National Climate Fund, government agencies, NGOs and other fund providers especially the GCF itself.

Mr Innocent Kabenga Country Rep for GGGI Rwanda said “ GGGI’s work in preparation of detailed green master plan will help Nyagatare attract investors, create more pull factors & more jobs. He urged the University in Nyagatare to carry out research & provide information, & knowledge needed to attract more investors.’”

In 2013, the Government of Rwanda decided to promote and develop six secondary cities (Huye, Muhanga, Musanze, Rubavu, Rusizi and Nyagatare); to ensure more balanced regional growth and opportunities for increased access to off farm employment and avoid pressure on peri-urban land of the Capital city Kigali and urban sprawl. These ambitious developmental targets are supported by policies and strategies and more specifically, the government of Rwanda in collaboration GGGI has developed a National Roadmap for Green Secondary Cities Development (NR), which provides tangible, simple actions that could be used to kick start green growth within Rwanda’s secondary cities. Long-term changes in the earth’s climate system have been significant and are occurring more rapidly than in the past, and Rwanda is not spared, especially its rapidly growing cities. Continued emissions into the earth’s atmosphere are projected to cause further warming and increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible effects on every continent. In addition, climate change has a disproportionately stronger impact on the lives and livelihoods of societies which depend on the natural environment for their day-to-day needs. This applies to Nyagatare city which is branded as agro-processing hub of East Rwanda.

Prof. Joseph Gahama from East African University of Rwanda placed great emphasis on importance of basic infrastructure to attract investors in Nyagatare District, he mentioned how “as a community we need to look at the existing infrastructure and focus on what needs to be improved and each stakeholder needs to take ownership and participate fully in this process”

The awareness workshop is intended to communicate to local government of Nyagatare and its stakeholders, the objectives and expected outcomes of the readiness project to be implemented in the Nyagatare district. This will be through meeting the district authorities, technicians, District Joint Development Action Forum, Local CBOs, local NGOs and other district stakeholders. The National level technician working closely with urbanization and built environment sector will be part of the workshop. Among programme of GCF, is the readiness and preparatory support to enhance country ownership and access to finance. Readiness programme provides resources for strengthening the institutional capacities of NDA to efficiently engage with the Fund. Within the context of this programme, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), which is a GCF delivery partner, has collaborated with Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), which is the GCF National Designated Authority (NDA) for Rwanda, and developed a readiness support proposal from July 2017 and was approved by GCF in February 2018. The developed readiness will focus on the green city development, and Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA), which is custodian of urbanization and human settlement development, has recommended Nyagatare secondary city to benefit the programme implementation. This is due to its early stage development and potentialities for green model city.

Jean Pierre Munyeshyaka elaborates that “the Readiness Programme was developed to support the planning & finance mobilization for green city development, & will result into transformative green city development projects to stimulate green economic development & investment in Nyagatare District.”

This readiness programme was developed to support the planning and finance mobilization for green city development, and has resulted into conceptual transformative green city development projects to stimulate green economic development and investment in Nyagatare secondary city. These will be achieved though revision of existing urban land development plan to accommodate the urban population growth, locating major infrastructure through land use zoning and organization of inner city’s major utilities networks. The project ideation will be guided by city short term, medium, and long term thematic development needs in terms of climate resilient housing and settlement development, climate resilient and low carbon transport infrastructure and services, environmental-friendly energy generation, water supply, sanitation.